The international dance-pop icon creates both intimate and grand vibes in her overdue return to Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Wearing a slinky, sparkly dress with bejeweled nipples, and metallic silver boots, Robyn emerges to a hero’s welcome. The Swedish pop champion stands intentionally emotionless, like a Sims character waiting for their next instruction. A matter-of-fact delivery of three hits, then, “Minneapolis-St. Paul, man,” Robyn teases, “…wanna hang?” The resounding answer is yes, followed by a dynamic and wowing performance of her dance-pop hit “Indestructible” that had even the balcony section on their feet.
Part of The Honey Tour, the March 5 show at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota supports her latest studio album, also titled Honey. Most of the songs are from the 2018 mid tempo LP, which had a somewhat mixed reception from fans. Many had hoped Robyn would deliver more uptempo songs like during her Body Talk album era. Still, the musicianship and subtly propulsive energy of Honey cannot be understated.
Played live, its layered production becomes more apparent and Robyn’s career-best vocals have their ideal chance to shine. Robyn is equally as thrilled about playing the old stuff as the new stuff; not that it matters, as her crowd lives for both. The reason she receives such hero’s welcomes is how shamelessly dance-pop her sound has always been. In a music industry where clichéd acts give pop a bad name, Robyn never fails to deliver on the depth and nuances genre fans know are possible.
The simplistic, yet striking stage design of the tour includes large draping from floor-to-ceiling, and stairs to a higher up section in the back where a large white sculpture of interlaced hands stands. The band plays on risers on the left and right sides of the stage. Robyn makes it all fade away, effortlessly drawing all the attention as she sings songs like “Beach2K20” and “Ever Again.” Soft and occasionally hard light shows change the entire mood of the iridescent, white set by coloring it differently.
She also colors herself differently, emerging for the second half of the show in a custom outfit dedicated to Prince. Of course, it is purple. She could not “help herself,” she admits; however, it’s a pretty Purple Rain-esque ode to the legend and feels more sincere than singing a cover of that title track.
Dance-wise, the star was clearly feeling herself, with moves ranging from subtle vibing to the beat, to doing the worm across the entire stage floor. Her dance is effortless, emotional and striking; it feels like watching someone expose their vulnerabilities and life’s story in a visual way. Fitting coming from an artist whose biggest song is “Dancing On My Own,” a confessional opus about loving yourself after your lover finds another. The band cuts out and Robin points her mic to the loud crowd as they belt a pitch-perfect rendition of the first chorus. It’s a transcendent moment that feels unique to a Robyn show.
The singer keeps things upbeat for the remainder, including a standout, euphoric rendition of “Stars 4Ever.” With this and “Who Do You Love?” — her sincere and exciting collaboration with opening act Kindness — Robyn lands the show in high spirits. It feels like a preview of what’s to come; possibly more of the upbeat material some fans are longing for.
Exclusive Photo Gallery
What is your favorite Robyn track? Send me a message! @DerekPlease on Facebook